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Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by…

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears (original 1975; edition 1980)

by Verna Aardema

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2,7952082,089 (4.09)11
Title:Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
Authors:Verna Aardema
Info:Scholastic (1980), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:ETEC 525

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Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema (1975)


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Genre: folktale
Age: beginner
Review/Critique: the story is about the animal kingdom in Africa. A mosquito annoys a iguana and that escalates to killing a baby owl. When the owl won't hoot to wake the sun up an investigation goes underway. Eventually it is found that it is the mosquitos fault but before punishment the mosquito gets away. The reason why mosquitos buzz in our ears is to check if the animals are still angry at him. It is a folktale because, the author says so, and because it give us the reason why mosquitos do what they do. ( )
  jessminson | Feb 13, 2017 |
“Why mosquitos buzz in people’s ears” is a perfect example for children about how the community needs each other to be successful. The West African tale uses all of the significant structures of a folktale, including talking animals, personification, and the explanation of naturally occurring events. When a mosquito comes and talks in an iguana’s ear, it starts chaos in the whole community. The chaos is solved after the mosquito is smashed by someone when she asked if everyone was still mad at her for telling a big lie.
Personal Reaction:
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Being an aunt of two little girls who are at the stage where they are learning the importance of telling the truth this book helped me better understand a way in which to explain why it’s always important to tell the truth.
1. Have children write a paper about something they have done or experiences that has impacted others
2. Talk to the children about the importance of telling the truth and not telling lies
  caitlynf | Feb 12, 2017 |
This book sets out to explain why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears. It is a tale of a chain of animals reacting to one another that causes a owlet to die, and thus send the owl mother into sadness, preventing her from causing the sun to rise. The mosquito started the chain reaction and its buzzing is it whining to humans about people being mad at it.
This book is a good example of a folktale because it has animal characters and it sets out to explain as aspect of the world. This folktale sets out to explain why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears, and according to this story, they buzz because they are whining about being held responsible for the dead owlet. This folktale is from West Africa.
Media: watercolor, pastels, and india ink
Age Appropriateness: primary
  khofer15 | Feb 9, 2017 |
This book is about an African folk story explaining why mosquitoes buzz. The artwork is absolutely beautiful, and it brings diversity to the classroom. This book would be great when teaching about myths, and to excite students about other cultures. ( )
  MissCogswell | Dec 2, 2016 |
This is a classic story and a great example of a book that has won the Caldecott medal. This story follows the chain reaction of animals causing mischief all because of a little mosquito. There were two elements to this story which I thought would make it great for the classroom. The first is the fact that the story contains a lot of repition and the same pattern in the second half. In the first half of the story the author has included a lot of the sounds that the animals make in the text which makes it a great example of onomatopoeia.

Genre: folktale

-read aloud
-caldecott medal books unit
-onomatopoeia unit
  asukonik | Nov 15, 2016 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Verna Aardemaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dillon, DianeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Marcia VanDuinen who heard this story first
First words
One morning a mosquito saw an iguana drinking at a waterhole.
Is everyone still mad at me?
Mosquito told me such a big lie, I couldn't bear to listen to it. So I put sticks in my ears.
I'd rather be deaf than listen to such nonsense!
It was the mosquito's fault
The mosquito said, "I saw a farmer digging yams that were almost as big as I am."
"What's a mosquito compared to a yam?" snapped the iguana grumpily.
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Book description
This West African pourquoi tale explains why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears. It all starts with Mosquito telling a lie to Iguana. Tired of listening to Mosquito, Iguana puts twigs in his own ears. When Python tries to talk to Iguana and Iguana doesn't respond to him, it sets off a chain of events that leads to the sun not rising in the morning. King Lion must learn the story of the events leading back to Mosquito's lie in order to get Mother Owl to call the sun. The story is enhanced by beautiful Caldecott winning illustrations.

If you enjoyed this story, try "Ahanti to Zulu: African Traditions".
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Reveals the meaning of the mosquito's buzz.

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